On July 26, 1942, a solider in the U.S. military found out that he had recently contracted a venereal disease.
Katie Hindmarch-Watson In the summer of 1889 a 15-year-old London telegraph boy named Charles Swinscow had a monumental encounter with his inspector. Charles had eighteen shillings in his pockets, more than twice his weekly salary. Postal Constable Luke Hanks, after discovering this suspicious amount, extracted a statement from Charles that […]
Julia Laite The world has just commemorated the 100th annivesary of the beginning of the First World War. While most historians have come to categorize the war as, in the words of Richard Evans, ‘the seminal catastrophe of the entire period’, ideologically driven government officials and some military historians insist that […]
Carrie Hamilton In late 1960, not quite two years after the revolutionary victory of 1959, two young Cuban filmmakers, Sabá Cabrera Infante and Orlando Jiménez Leal, set out with a handheld camera, a small recording device and a limited supply of film to record shots of Havana nightlife. The result was P.M., […]
Julia Laite I have recently been pondering Voltaire’s much quoted but rarely contextualized observation that ‘historians are gossips who tease the dead’. It goes to the heart of something that’s been bothering me ever since I dug further into the details of a case of a young woman who had appeared in my […]
This article by Notches editor Julia Laite appeared in the September 9, 2014 issue of The Guardian. The latest development in a near-150-year-old saga made headlines this week: an armchair detective has used DNA evidence to claim that Aaron Kosminski was Jack the Ripper, the infamous figure who murdered and mutilated women in […]
Julia Laite I’ve often said that researching prostitution makes me more of a labour historian than a historian of sexuality. Despite having typically been lumped into the same categories as homosexuality and other perceived sexual deviances, women who sold sex in the past connected their actions not to their sexuality but to […]